Tragedy chanting or referencing past tragedies or disasters during football matches to gain a competitive advantage has become a significant issue in recent years. This form of behavior is considered not only disrespectful to the victims and their families but also detracts from the sport itself, creating an unpleasant and hostile environment for all involved.

In a recent Liverpool vs. Manchester United match, fans of Manchester United engaged in chanting about tragedies related to the Hillsborough disaster, which prompted both managers to issue a joint statement calling for an end to such behavior. Homophobic and other forms of discriminatory chanting have also become more common in football games, prompting football organizations and authorities to take more active measures to foster a fan culture that values inclusivity and respect.

Hence, Real Research, an online survey app, launched a survey on public opinion on tragedy chanting during the football match to gather insights and data on the prevalence and impact of this behavior and gauge people’s attitudes towards chanting in football matches.


  • Report offensive singing to authorities to prevent future incidents, said 22.55%
  • The majority of 61.94% are familiar with the Liverpool vs. Manchester chanting
  • It’s unfair to use tragedy against the opposing team to win a game, stated 14.54%

Real Research conducted a survey to gather data on the prevalence and impact of tragedy chanting during the football match. The first question asked whether the respondents had watched the Liverpool vs. Manchester United football match on March 5, 2023. Of the participants, 48.21% reported having watched the match, while 34.95% reported watching only some parts of it, and 16.84% did not watch it at all.

During the March 5 match, Manchester United fans began tragedy chanting during the football match about a football stadium crush incident that occurred in 1989 called the Hillsborough disaster. We asked our respondents if they were aware of the tragedy chanting during the football match.

Results indicated that most of the respondents (61.94%) were aware of the chanting, while 28.09% were aware to some extent, and 9.97% were unaware.

Similarly, during an Everton F.C. vs. Manchester United game, homophobic chants were sung by several fans. Most respondents (46.61%) stated that it is highly inappropriate to sing homophobic chants at a football game and 30.16% said somewhat inappropriate.

In contrast, 11.08% said somewhat appropriate and 3.19% said highly appropriate.

Exploring the Impact of Tragedy Chanting on Players and Fans Alike

Tragedy chanting during football matches is a form of behavior that can have a profound impact on both players and fans. For players, it can be emotionally and psychologically challenging to hear references to tragedies that have affected them or their fellow players. It can also detract from their focus on the game, making it more challenging to perform at their best.

According to the survey results, 14.54% said that the use of tragedy chanting on the opposing team to win a game is unfair, 12.98% said that it was considered unethical to gain a competitive edge using the loss of human lives, and 11.23% said it could create a hostile and intimidating environment.

On the other hand, 7.4% stated the use of tragedy chanting is not offensive as it is a part of the football culture, 7.2% stated that it is considered fair to use to support one’s team, and 6.93% stated that it could add an element of excitement to the game.

Figure 1 Opinions on tragedy chanting
Figure 1: Opinions on tragedy chanting

In the following poll, we asked if inappropriate chanting and behavior during football matches are becoming prevalent in recent years. Half of the respondents (50.05%) said yes, compared to 27.92% who said no. 22.03% of the respondents remained unsure about this.

Ways To Prevent Tragedy Chanting

We asked the participants for opinions on potential solutions to prevent tragedy chanting during football matches. According to Figure 2, 22.55% of the respondents said that encouraging spectators to report fans or supporters signing offensive chants to authorities is a step to prevent inappropriate chanting.

Figure 2 Steps to prevent tragedy-related chanting
Figure 2: Steps to prevent tragedy-related chanting

Additionally, 19.91% of respondents suggested implementing stricter punishments for individuals or groups involved in tragedy chanting during a football match. 18.18% of respondents suggested implementing rules to maintain a respectful environment throughout the game, while 12.95% suggested increasing knowledge and awareness about tragedy chanting and its effects.

Lastly, the poll asked the respondents’ stance on the use of tragedy chanting to show support for one’s favorite team. Results indicated that 63.53% oppose it compared to 36.47% who support it.

Figure 3 Stance on tragedy chanting to support one’s favorite team
Figure 3: Stance on tragedy chanting to support one’s favorite team

Ultimately, tragedy chanting is a powerful form of expression that has been used throughout history to gain a competitive edge and distract the players’ mindset. This insight highlights the use of tragedy chanting and its impacts.


Survey TitleSurvey: Public Opinion on Tragedy Chanting During the Football Match
DurationMarch 21-March 28, 2023
Number of Participants10,000
DemographicsMales and females, aged 21 to 99
Participating Countries Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, China (Hong Kong) China (Macao), China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greanada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Maldives, Maluritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar [Burma], Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.